Saxophonist Phil Scarff is pioneering the performance of North Indian classical music on soprano saxophone, exquisitely capturing the subtlety and depth of this music on this Western instrument. He has “beautifully molded the saxophone to Indian classical music,” extols Sakal, Kolhapur, India. Phil is a master jazz saxophonist, and leads the acclaimed world-jazz ensemble, Natraj. Appearances include India’s Nehru Center, Dadar-Matunga Cultural Centre, and Bombay Gymkhana Club (Mumbai), Indian Council for Cultural Relations Theater (Delhi), Gayan Samaj Deval Club (Kolhapur), Maharashtra Cultural Centre (Pune), Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, JazzYatra, and Prayojana International Music Festival; and Ghana’s PANAFEST. Phil is featured on 30 acclaimed CDs/DVDs. Phil has performed with icons of Indian classical music including Ronu Majumdar, Shashank, Kadri Gopalnath, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Trichy Sankaran, Chitravina Ravikiran, and Shailesh Bhagwat; as well as African master drummers Godwin Agbeli, Abubakari Lunna, Nani Agbeli, and Lamine Toure. Phil performs and records with creative jazz ensembles including Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Composers Alliance, Lewis Porter-Phil Scarff Group, Filmprov, and Sandy Prager.
Phil received extensive training Hindustani music in Pune, India, from vocalist Pt. Shreeram Devasthali, leading sundri artist Pt. Suryakant Khaladkar, and shehnai master Pt. Shyamrao Lonkar, and in Boston, USA, from sitar master Peter Row, and vocalists Kalpana Mazumdar and Warren Senders. Phil Scarff regularly tours India, performing North Indian classical concerts, and has appeared on ‘The Morning Show’ on SAAM TV. All India Radio broadcast his Hindustani performance, under the auspices of the Sangeet Research Academy. Phil has presented workshops and lectures on jazz and world music at institutions such as New England Conservatory, Berklee College, Tufts University, Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts at Kalakshetra Foundation (Chennai, India), Lawrence University, Bowdoin College, Dartmouth College, Guelph Jazz Festival, University of Rhode Island, MIT, and LearnQuest Festival.